Jennifer Lawrence Nude Photos Leak Raises Doubts on Apple's iCloud; How to Secure Apple ID

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A customer holds up an Apple iPhone 5 (L) and iPhone 4s (R)
A customer holds up an Apple iPhone 5 (L) and iPhone 4s (R) during an exclusive sale by Belgian operator Mobistar in Brussels September 28, 2012. REUTERS REUTERS/Yves Herman

After news of celebrities' nude photos being leaked online by a hacker spread like wildfire, many have wondered about the susceptibility of Apple's iCloud. "Hunger Games" actress Jennifer Lawrence have already confirmed that the leaked images were indeed hers. Other celebrities have also confirmed that their privacy has just been violated.

According to reports, hacking in smartphones and online photo sharing accounts to access personal photos is not something new. However, the latest leak of photos was allegedly taken from Apple's iCloud and Photo Stream feature.

Unconfirmed reports have surfaced that iCloud was involved in photo leaks. Apple has yet to release a statement regarding the issue. However, a report from Mashable said a compromise of iCloud accounts does not necessarily mean a bigger and system-wide breach.

How to secure Apple ID

Experts recommend a two-step verification process to protect the Apple ID. Aside from the password, a verification code is also needed. Setting up the two-step verification process will require the Apple user to find the My Apple ID feature, click on the "Manage your Apple ID" then proceed to sign in. Select the Password and Security option to start the set up process.

The user is then required to register at least one Apple device to get a 4-digit verification code via text or the Find My iPhone app. Once everything is in place, every transaction in the iTunes, App Store or any chance in the Apple ID will require the user to provide a password and the 4-digit code sent to the device.

Apple requires users to create a password with at least 8 characters including a number, a lowercase letter or and an uppercase letter. If users did not previously follow the company's advice, Apple will not force them to make a new password unless a two-factor authentication process is used.

If the two-factor authentication for iCloud and iTunes accounts is enabled, the user will have to approve a new device to access the same content using the 4-digit code sent upon registration. All devices using the same Apple ID will display a pop-up to notify the user that another device has access to the same data.

Mashable recommends using secure and unique passwords for all accounts and devices. A two-factor authentication should be enabled for added protection. Users are also advised to update and run the latest version of the operating system. 

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